Compiled by Patrick Avenell

BSR Group CEO Graeme Cunningham has revealed a slight sales increase for the group’s March 2012 financial year, while the integration of ex-Retravision members is coinciding with the rebranding of the network’s trading name to Betta Home Living.

In a statement sent to today, Cunningham spoke about:

Financial Performance

“Our financial result is about to be announced and early indicators are that sales have increased by around 2- 3 per cent, with some stores performing well above that level. The group has remained debt free and we will be declaring another dividend for shareholders as we have done for the past six years. Profitability remains at similar levels to previous years but we’ve had an increase in revenue income. This has been a result of improved conditions for the group, increased marketing activity, cost efficiencies and focusing on a number of more profitable categories.”

Rebranding to Betta Home Living

“The rebranding includes new livery and in time will also include an expansion into new categories such as homewares and furniture. The Betta Home Living rollout is happening at the moment and new signage is now underway across 30 stores — an initiative which is largely being funded by BSR and which is a significant investment for the company. All stores will be upgraded within the next 12-to-18 months. Operating under the Betta Home Living name gives us scope to expand into other categories in an ever-changing market and ensure we continue to drive growth.”

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Gympie, Virginia and Keperra (all Queensland) Retravisions joining BSR

“We are delighted to welcome more stores into the group and are in ongoing discussions with potential new members. We have also utilised the Chandlers brand as in some cases, such as in Yeppoon, we have an existing Betta store. However this brand will only be used selectively.”

Diversifying out of AV and online retailing

“Technology categories continue to be affected by falling average selling prices, but our real strength has never been in those categories so that in itself has helped our result. Also contributing to our growth has been the move to online retailing, success with our commercial division and our expansion into social media, which saw our successful launch on Facebook in the last two weeks. These measures have benefited all stores.”

Reduction in franchise fees

“Our service fee is as competitive as other independents and it’s all encompassing — from local area marketing to catalogues and catalogue distribution. Additionally, members have seen a 45 per cent increase in pass backs and more importantly an increase in income into their business. We’ve always been a single national entity focussed on our members, not our own corporate identity. Everything we do is about improving the return for our stores.”